The biggest question heading into the second half of a lost season for the season was whether or not they would give effort. GM Jerry Reese said during the bye week that the team would “come back after this break and we’re going to leave everything out there.”
Sunday’s game was a humiliation for the Giants. And the scoreboard, as bad as it was with a final score of 51-17, barely reflected the pitiful nature of what went on during the game.
The offense wasn’t good They turned the ball over three times in the first half. Wayne Gallman had a fumble. Eli Manning had a fumble and forced a pass that became an interception. Manning also missed badly on deep throws to Sterling Shepard and Tavarres King that should have gone for touchdowns.
There was, however, at least some apparent effort given by offensive players. Not so much on the other side of the ball.
There was a galling lack of effort on defense, typified by the “business decision” cornerback Eli Apple appeared to make on this third-and-33 52-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods.
That third-and-33 was the first one converted for a first down, much less a touchdown, by an NFL team since 1989. I guess if you’re going to embarrass yourself, you might as well make history while you’re doing it.
Many of the issues were in the secondary. The Rams had passing plays of 35, 44, 44, 52 and 67 yards with coverage breakdowns being plentiful. Janoris Jenkins was suspended. Domique Rodgers-Cromartie was previously suspended. Apple appeared disinterested.
Todd Gurley had a 36-yard run. There were gaping holes, missed and half-hearted tackles, wide open receivers and blown assignments everywhere. Los Angeles scored on eight of its first nine possessions.
Some of that, of course, is attributable to Olivier Vernon, Jonathan Casillas, B.J. Goodson and Jenkins not being on the field. Not, however, all of it.
The Giants had a punt blocked, missed a field goal and gave up a 30-yard punt return.
Fans at MetLife Stadium were booing before halftime and had begun to leave by the middle of the third quarter.
Yours truly spent much of the second half taking pictures and videos of empty MetLife Stadium seats and fans heading for the exits.
Empty seats the norm at metlife with 12 minutes left pic.twitter.com/LLXzF6b50H— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) November 5, 2017
Fans heading for the Metlife exits in the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/hP86hKhSkx— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) November 5, 2017
“I think it speaks for itself”
That is what Giants co-owner John Mara told Steve Politi of NJ Advance Media about Sunday’s game.
What it screamed was embarrassment.
The Giants couldn’t get out of their own way on offense, couldn’t stop the Rams on defense and eventually looked like they just wanted the game to be over with. They certainly didn’t look like a team with any fight left in them.
McAdoo was asked if he was embarrassed by the non-competitive 34-point loss, one that made his team 0-4 at home this season.
“Embarrassing isn’t a word I’d use. We’re disappointed.”
McAdoo said he was “not at all” concerned about his job status.
“My situation doesn’t have anything to do with it,” McAdoo said. “We have to get ready to play a ball game next week. That’s counterproductive.”
Players, at least the handful who stuck around to speak with media, admitted that they were embarrassed. The owner certainly seems to have, rightfully, felt embarrassed.
McAdoo insisted that “the team didn’t quit today” and that guys “were playing hard.”
The coach, of course, has to say that. If he is as smart, though, as GM Jerry Reese claims he is, McAdoo has to know what Sunday looked like.
An embarrassment. And he has to know that embarrassment could very well end up costing him his job.